This is day 13 in my 31 Days series on sustainable dwelling. For an introduction and more posts, head here!
There is no frigate like a book
to take us lands away.
Nor any courser like a page
of prancing poetry -
This traverse may the poorest take
without oppress of toll -
How frugal is the chariot
that bears the human soul!
I love reading - always have, since I first learned how (well, before, really - I'd bring Mum stacks of books and sit patiently while she read them aloud. I think she still has Dr Seuss's ABCs memorized...) And one of my favorite parts about reading is the ability to experience eras and cultures beyond my own, broadening my horizon from the comfort of an armchair.
Alright, it's a show, but it's produced in the UK and I've got the books it's based on half-memorized. And I realized how many British actors I've been exposed to (both in American and British productions) when Adam was struggling to understand one character because he spoke too quickly.
In a time when the entire globe is wirelessly connected, it is unconscionable to remain ignorant about what's going on beyond our own 6-mile radius. We can access literature (and other media) from practically every country translated into our language (or we can bestir ourselves to learn a new language - there's an app for that), and we can follow a 24 hour news cycle around the world at the touch of a button.
local coaster featuring a local business, local bangle, fair trade mug, fair trade earrings, locally made leather journal, tag on refugee project by fair trade clothing company, fair trade pen pouch - all conscious choices
So what does this have to do with sustainable dwelling? Everything. If we keep puttering along in our own comfortable, convenient ruts, never tiptoeing to see what's going outside our well-worn groove, nothing is going to change. We'll all just keep going the same direction that we're going. But that's gotten us record numbers of trafficked humans and an increasing gap between the upper and lower classes, worldwide - we need a new direction.
We need to read labels. To ask questions. To make conscious choices. To get news from reliable sources. To engage in open discussion. To send emails. To make phone calls. To raise awareness. And most of all, we need to pray - because unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
Beautiful dwelling is seeking hard after justice, loving (really loving, not just loving-like-you-love-chocolate-and-Benedict-Cumberbatch) mercy, and staying (or becoming) humble - because the Savior we serve is the only One who can work lasting change; we just get to be the vessels He works through.